Why Would You Move a Website?
There are plenty of reasons to move a website from host to host, or even within a host to different plans.
- Upgrading from shared to VPS, or VPS to Dedicated, or even beyond that to a new environment in the same host.
- Unsatisfied with current host and have to move to a new place
- Site won’t run on the current host’s software
- Move from an old host to new one for a client, either way (in or out)
But the important thing to know is you have options.
How To Move a WordPress Website
There are four, well maybe more than four, ways to migrate a WordPress site. Keep in mind there are other methods, plugins, services or processes that can be substituted here, but we’re going to list what is and has worked for BeBizzy Consulting in the past.
Straight FTP and PHP MyAdmin Acess
This is the method we’ve been using to migrate sites since the beginning of time. It works on straight HTML, ASP, PHP and virtually anything else that needs to move from Site A to Site B.
- Set up FTP access on Server A
- Install an FTP client on your computer (I use Filezilla on all my computers, Chromebooks using Linux). Make sure you download the client version not the server.
- Download the files using Filezilla to connect to Site A
- Go into Server A’s cPanel and open the PHPMyAdmin portion. Export the entire database for the site.
- On Server B, set up a WordPress install
- In the cPanel, set up FTP access on Server B
- Upload the files to Server B
- Import the database to Server B
- Configure the wp-config.php file with Server B’s MySQL info (username, password, database name, etc)
- Repoint the domain to the new server.
This process can take anywhere from an hour to several depending on your proficiency with FTP, the cPanel, and the size of the site (files, database, etc).
Use a Backup Plugin
Backup plugins are an essential part of a healthy website. Running regular backups gives you a great fallback in the case of something catastrophic happening to the site. But it can also be used to easily migrate a site from Server A to Server B.
- Install your backup plugin on Server A. I use UpdraftPlus. These backups can be saved virtually anywhere, just make sure you can get to the easily.
- Install and set up WordPress on Server B and install the same backup plugin.
- Log into the Server B WordPress and access the plugin. Run a “restore” of the backup to the new site.
- You may have to clean up a few things but this should migrate everything over seamlessly.
Use A Migration Service
There are several services to migrate WordPress websites from A-B. I have been using ManageWP for many years and it’s always done a great job.
- Install the ManageWP Worker plugin on WordPress on Server A.
- Signup or login to ManageWP.
- Add the site on Server A to Manager WP and also add the backups (costs about $2). Run the backup
- Install WP on Server B and install the ManageWP Worker plugin
- Add the WP site on Server B to ManageWP
- Go back to Site A, and click the “Clone” button and select the WP site on Server B.
- You may have to provide your username and password here.
- Import to the new site, and you should be able to log in and start using it.
- Point the domain at the new server.
Move the Entire cPanel from Server A to Server B
This one’s a bit more involved. It requires several things that can be found at the link below like the same software (PHP, Apache, databases, etc), a similar setup on resources like RAM, HD space and others, and access the WHM. If everything matches up, this is 100% the fastest way to move a site because you’re lifting the entire cPanel account from Server A to Server B.
Thanks for listening to this episode of the WP Wednesday Podcast
Do you have questions, experiences related to today’s topic? Head over to @Bebizzy on Twitter and send them there.
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